BOZEMAN, Mont. - The Montana State University football team pulled back to a .500 record (4-4) last week with a 28-14 win against Idaho State.
The Bobcats are 4-2 in Big Sky Conference play, but now face a non-conference opponent with just three weeks to go in the regular season.
Montana State will take on its sixth ranked opponent of the season on Saturday, as the Bobcats host Kennesaw State.
The Owls are ranked 25th in the country in just their third season as an FCS program.
Kennesaw runs a flexbone triple-option offense that averages 329.4 rushing yards per game, which is the best in the nation.
But once again, this is another opportunity for MSU to bolster its resume with a quality opponent.
"I look at the glass as half-full,” said head coach Jeff Choate. “You prefer not to play a late-season non-conference game, especially when you've got a conference stretch like we have with an NAU and a Montana backing these up. But where we're at right now, this is an opportunity for us to play a ranked opponent, and maybe position ourselves for some things."
The only Big Sky team that currently runs the triple-option offense is Cal Poly, who the Bobcats have not played since 2015.
But Montana State defensive coordinator Ty Gregorak has faced the Mustangs many times in his 13 seasons as an assistant coach in the Big Sky, and he has some unique advice for his players.
"It’s like that opening scene in ‘Saving Private Ryan’,” Gregorak said. “It's nothing short of chaos every play."
Another key to slowing down Kennesaw State will be the unique environment in Bozeman.
Bobcat Stadium has seen an average crowd of over 18,000 this season, and sits at an elevation of almost 5,000 feet. With this game in particular, snow will be a huge factor for an Owls team that has not played a game west of the Mississippi River, or north of the Mason-Dixon line, this year.
"The favors are going to be our way in this game with the weather, the altitude change, and with our stadium just in general," said senior linebacker Mac Bignell.
Saturday’s kickoff at Bobcat Stadium is scheduled for noon.